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7AM Newscast 01-10-2014

News, Podcasts

January 10th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Red Oak man arrested Thu. afternoon


January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested an individual Thursday afternoon, for Failure to Appear on Contempt of Court charges. 49-year old David Allen Welch, of Red Oak, was arrested on valid warrants at around 3:45-p.m., at 106 W. Coolbaugh Street. Welch was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Murder charges dropped against NE man accused in fatal shooting on NE-IA bridge


January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A report in the Omaha World-Herald says prosecutors have agreed to drop second-­degree murder charges against a 24-year-old Omaha man accused of a fatal shooting on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, which links Omaha and Council Bluffs. Terrece R. Cox had been scheduled to go on trial Monday. Instead, Cox is expected to be released from jail today (Friday), after the murder charge and six other counts are dismissed.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine and Cox’s attorney, Bill Eustice, said witnesses were either evasive or uncooperative with police and prosecutors. Cox has always claimed he was innocent in the 1-a.m. shooting death on May 29th, of 26-year old Shamari Richards.

About a dozen young people were on the bridge about 1 a.m. At least seven of them, including a 16-year-old girl, had been drinking in celebration of the girl’s birthday. Then they came in contact with Richards and a few of his friends. At some point, a young woman was punched. A confrontation ensued. Shots were fired. Richards was killed. Kevin Jenkins, who was 29 at the time, and Jeremy Fejeran, who was 19,  were also shot, but they survived.

IA Court of Appeals updholds sentence of former Denison Fire Chief


January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Court of Appeals, Thursday, upheld the 10-year prison sentence of a former fire chief from western Iowa. The Omaha World-Herald reports the Court’s action was affirmed in the case against Mike McKinnon. McKinnon, former fire chief in Denison, plead guilty to a felony charge of theft in the first degree, and was sentenced last March.

He served as Denison’s fire chief for 10 years, resigning in January 2010 to accept a position as fire science instructor at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. The theft charge was filed against him in December 2011, after a special audit by the Iowa Auditor’s Office and an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. McKinnon was accused of making $95,896 of improper and unsupported disbursements from July 1, 2005, to March 31, 2010.

Treynor School District won’t act on petition seeking removal of Superintendent


January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Attorney for the Treynor Community School District says officials will not take action against the District’s Superintendent, whose son plead guilty in connection with the assault of some of his female  classmates. The Omaha World-Herald says a petition had sought the removal of Superintendent Kevin Elwood. The petition on moveon.org had been signed by 169 people as of Thursday afternoon. It asks the school board to request Elwood’s immediate resignation, contending that he did not properly investigate or act on reports of alleged sexual harassment and abuse in the district.

In September, Elwood’s son, 18-year old Kreighton Elwood, accepted a plea agreement in a sex abuse case involving some of his Treynor High School classmates. Kreighton Elwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault, one count of assault causing bodily injury and one count of false imprisonment. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail and two years of probation and ordered to successfully complete a counseling program for sex offenders. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender in Iowa for 10 years.

The younger Elwood was originally charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree kidnapping in connection with a pair of incidents that allegedly occurred in 2012. A fourth charge of indecent exposure was dismissed. In November and December 2012, Kreighton Elwood allegedly abused two girls in separate incidents. In all, five girls have levied complaints against Elwood, with three cases handled in juvenile court.

Corps: Missouri River will get more water in 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Slightly more water than normal is expected to flow into the Missouri River this spring, but the dams along the river should have room for it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says several of the reservoirs remain below normal because they are still recovering from the 2012 drought. So the Corps’ Jody Farhat says the reservoirs should be able to safely handle the 26.1 million acre feet of runoff expected this year. That forecast is slightly above normal runoff of 25.2 million acre feet.

The Corps adjusts the amount of water released from dams along the river in response to conditions. Last year, releases along the water were limited because the Corps was conserving water as the region recovered from drought. That affected barge traffic on the river.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Jan. 10th 2014


January 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Mark Jacobs says he raised $400,000 from donors last year, but the former energy executive won’t reveal if he has put his own cash into his campaign account. Jacobs, an Iowa native, formerly served as chief executive officer of Texas-based Reliant Energy. He has great personal wealth but hasn’t disclosed whether he plans to spend his own money on his campaign.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an Iowa inmate has died while in hospice care. Fred Scaletta with the Department of Corrections says 62-year-old Steven Daniels died yesterday at the hospice unit of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. Scaletta says Daniels died of natural causes due to liver failure.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — A new sentencing hearing has been ordered for a Charles City teenager convicted of killing his 3-year-old cousin. The Waterloo-Cedar Fall Courier reports the Iowa Court of Appeals issued the ruling yesterday for Edgar Concepcion Junior. His convictions, including for first-degree murder, were upheld, but his life sentences were overturned and sent to district court for resentencing.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Davenport has approved a program that will let residents use a property tax rebate to help save for college. The Quad-City Times reports the Davenport City Council voted on Wednesday in support of the College Cornerstone program, which will be an addition to the Davenport Now property tax rebate program.

Shelby Co. farmer leaves his farm & more than $2.5-million in cash to 13 Catholic churches in SW IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Shelby County resident who lived the farmer’s dream is now bequeathing most of it to local churches. Edwin “Bud” Skalla of rural Portsmouth, passed away on November 26th, 2013 at the age of 92 years old. During his lifetime, Skalla accumulated over $2 million in cash assets and 1,100 acres of land in Harrison and Shelby Counties. In a press conference Thursday, Ray Chipman, conservator for the Skalla estate, said most of the land and cash assets will be divided between thirteen catholic churches in southwest Iowa. In addressing the media, Chipman said Skalla was a quiet and frugal man.

“During his lifetime he wouldn’t have bought you a cup of coffee that cost five cents. But now in his passing, I think we can say 98 percent of his estate will be given to catholic churches in southwest Iowa. Portsmouth in particular will inherit a farm which was appraised at almost $3 million. That is an out right gift to Portsmouth.”

Chipman says the 292 acre farm going to St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Portsmouth is one of six parcels of land Skalla owned southeast of Portsmouth. The other 858 acres will be auctioned. “In addition to the farm given to Portsmouth, the residual of his estate, and we don’t know what that is going to be because we have 858 acres and we don’t know what that will bring per acre, but depending on what that brings added to $2.5 million in cash assets that he has, that total will be distributed to 13 catholic churches in southwest Iowa.”

Those churches benefiting in Shelby County are St. Michael’s in Harlan, St. Peter’s in Defiance, St. Joseph’s in Earling, and St. Boniface in Westphalia, St. Mary’s in Portsmouth and St. Mary’s in Panama. In Harrison County, St. Patrick’s Church in Missouri Valley, St. Anne’s Church in Logan, St. Patrick’s in Dunlap and Sacred Heart in Woodbine. In addition, St. Patrick’s in Neola, St. Rose of Lima in Denison and St. Patrick’s in Council Bluffs are also beneficiaries. Skalla didn’t come from a wealthy family and built most of his assets in investments. Skalla was never married and didn’t have any children. His living relatives are two sisters Sylvia Kepford of California, Roseann Brummer of Logan and sister in law Vi Skalla. Father John Dorton of the St. Mary’s of Portsmouth and other churches spoke highly of Skalla and called him a loyal, hard worker who loved the community and church. Dorton then read a letter written by Reverend Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines,

“The Catholic communities of Shelby and Harrison Counties as well as the Diocese of Des Moines are enormously grateful to Edwin “Bud” Skalla for his extraordinarily generous remembrance of the parishes in his will. Bud was engaged in the most noble of professions, farming. Through his dedicated work, he provided nourishment for the human body which fortified countless thousands. Now, in death, through his legacy he will enrich the human spirit through faith and spiritual development.”

When asked how he felt when he heard what the Portsmouth parish was going to receive, Dorton replied with one word:  “Wow!” Skalla spent all but thirteen years of his life on his farm southeast of Portsmouth before moving to Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan. The auction for the land will be held in Portsmouth on February 15th at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Portsmouth.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Cashless system scrapped for Iowa State Fair


January 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials behind the Iowa State Fair say they’re scrapping plans to eliminate cash sales at food vendors and other attractions, following a heavy public backlash. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa State Fair Board canceled plans for the cashless payment system at a meeting Thursday.

Fair officials announced Tuesday that they would sell 50-cent tickets online and at multiple locations at the fairgrounds for food and other rides. They said the new system would be more secure and speed up food purchases. In response, some fairgoers said the hassle of lines and other confusion would keep them at home.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement they were pleased with the board’s decision. Reynolds also serves on the board.

The Southern District of Iowa U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects More Than $5.6 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2013


January 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced today (Thursday), that the Southern District of Iowa collected more than $5.6-million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013. Of that amount, nearly $4.1-million was collected in criminal actions and slightly more than $1.5-million was collected in civil actions. In addition, the Southern District of Iowa worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $4.1-million in civil cases pursued jointly with those offices.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30th, 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 represents nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Iowa, working with partner agencies and divisions, also collected more than $2.3-million in administrative and judicial asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes. $862,737 in forfeited assets was returned to victims during FY 2013, and $543,406 was equitably shared with state and local law enforcement agencies.